2012 Culture and Resistance with Alice Walker, Randy Weston, Walter Mosley, Gore Vidal and More
Today we look at the nexus of politics and art, airing highlights of our cultural coverage from the past year featuring Alice Walker, Walter Mosley, Tony Kushner, Randy Weston, Steve Earle, Randall Robinson, Toshi Reagon, Tom Morello and others. We pay tribute to the late Adrienne Rich, Gore Vidal and Whitney Houston and mark the centennial of the birth of Woody Guthrie. [includes rush transcript]
Randall Robinson, founder and past president of TransAfrica and a law professor at Pennsylvania State University. He is the author of several books, including An Unbroken Agony: Haiti, from Revolution to the Kidnapping of a President. His most recent book is Makeda, his second novel.
Mark Anthony Neal, professor of black popular culture in the Department of African and African American Studies at Duke University. He is the host of the weekly webcast called Left of Black, and he blogs at newblackman.blogspot.com. He is author of several books, including What the Music Said: Black Popular Music and Black Public Culture and Songs in the Keys of Black Life: A Rhythm and Blues Nation.
Dave Isay, founder of StoryCorps and author of the new book, All There Is: Love Stories from StoryCorps.
Randy Weston, the legendary pianist, composer and pioneering jazz musician who incorporates the vast rhythmic heritage of Africa.
Walter Mosley, award-wining author of 37 books, including his series of bestselling mysteries featuring the private investigator Easy Rawlins. Mosley’s latest novel, All I Did Was Shoot My Man, follows the modern-day private eye Leonid McGill as he navigates a world filled with corporate wealth, armed assassins and family drama. His most recent work of non-fiction is Twelve Steps Toward Political Revelation.
Adrienne Rich, legendary poet, essayist and feminist who died in March at the age of 82.
Alice Walker, Pulitzer Prize-winning author, poet and activist. When Adrienne Rich was awarded the 1973 National Book Award, she refused to accept the award alone. She appeared onstage with poets Audre Lorde and Alice Walker, and the three accepted the award on behalf of all women.
Tony Kushner, renowned playwright and screenwriter. He won a Pulitzer Prize and a Tony Award for his play Angels in America, which was later made into an award-winning television mini-series. His other plays include Homebody/Kabul, Caroline, or Change and A Bright Room Called Day. His most recent play was The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism With a Key to the Scriptures.
Tom Morello, activist and musician who participated in the protests against the NATO summit.
Toshi Reagon, singing Woody Guthrie’s "This Train Is Bound for Glory," recorded live in Chicago at a concert marking Woody Guthrie’s upcoming centennial.
Steve Earle, musician, actor, author and activist. He is a three-time Grammy Award winner. He recently performed in New York at WoodyFest, a three-day concert in celebration of Woody Guthrie’s birthday. His recent novel and album share the same name: I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive.
Eileen Myles, poet and novelist. She is the former artistic director of St. Mark’s Poetry Project. Her most recent collection is Snowflake/different streets (2012 Wave Books).
Gore Vidal, essayist, critic and author of bestselling books, Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace and Dreaming War: Blood for Oil and the Cheney-Bush Junta. He died in August at the age of 86.